The Oxford Artisan Distillery announces its seventh batch of rye whisky.

Easy Ryder is a marriage of nine specially selected casks chosen by Master Distiller, Francisco Rosa, to achieve a smooth yet intricate ride through The Oxford Artisan Distillery’s distinct heritage grains and distilling practices.

As with all of the Oxford’s Rye releases, the distillery produced this whisky using heritage grains grown by the distillery’s regenerative and organic farming partners. These grains require no pesticides, fungicides or herbicides, supporting sustainability and biodiversity in their fields. Easy Ryder is a celebration of farmers letting nature work its magic in a healthy field, restoring the land and supporting biodiversity with every harvest.

Each cask selected for this expression has been through a different journey, from the starting point at the cooperage, to its size, the filling strength, its age and the warehouse in which it rested. After three to four years of maturation the new make flavours have diverged in to nine different spirits all with something in common. This blend of ryes showcases all these harmonies coming together, elevating the complexity and nuances of each cask.

From the American oak of varying toasts, chars and origins, to the Moscatel Roxo cask, together with the grain and distillery character as the backbone, the oak complexity merges with the sweet and fresh flavours from the Portuguese Moscatel fortified wine cask from Setúbal. (N.B Full list of cask information is given below.) The result is a whisky which is creamy with notes of pastry, chocolate, refreshing spice and a pronounced savoury character.

Francisco Rosa comments: “Our flavour keeps evolving and slowly showing heritage grains’ true character as we continue our journey through time and flavour, rooted in our Oxfordshire surroundings.” 

“When our grains evolve under fermentation with our in-house cultures, a lovely butter dimension comes to life which is then influenced by distillation and maturation, it deviates from custard or pastry to white chocolate, or bog butter as an earthy (field-like) expression of the grain. In this release, there is a pronounced savoury character as a result of the sandy soils from Oxford combined with the sandy soils by the sea in Setúbal.”

Bottled at 50% ABV, Easy Ryder is priced at £55 for 70cl and is the distillery’s largest run so far, with 2,782 bottles now available through the distillery’s website and specialist whisky retailers.

The Oxford Artisan Distillery:

The distillery opened for business at its purpose-built site in Oxford on 27th July 2017.

It is Oxford’s first ever distillery and produces a range of spirits, including gin, absinthe, vodka and whisky, all with total provenance from grain to glass. The Oxford Artisan Distillery is rare amongst UK distilleries in producing its own spirit, rather than purchasing Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS) from other sources.

The distillery has a licence to produce spirits for the University of Oxford and has a notable partnership with the University of Oxford’s Botanic Garden.

About Heritage Grain:

The Oxford Artisan Distillery is the only distillery to use genetically diverse populations of heritage grains – revived from historical sources by a leading archaeo-botanist and grown sustainably on over 350 acres, known as land races, both close to Oxford and on prestigious estates such as Highgrove and Sandringham. The distillery’s grain contributes to biodiversity and soil health in the English countryside. The grains are the result of John Lett’s lifelong research on heritage grains: John has spent a large part of his life sourcing and growing heritage grains together, as polycultures. John takes 30-100 varieties of grain, mixes them up, and grows them together in the same field, at the same time. These sustainable fields are similar to what you would have seen in medieval times – the grains are grown specifically for the distillery, making The Oxford Artisan Distillery the only distillery in the world with a license to use John’s grains, grown exclusively for flavour and not yield.

Easy Ryder Cask Information:

American Oak (AO)

Grade 1 Char (G1C)

Cask #23
AO Heavy Char3 years, 10 months
130L @ 59.0% filled
119L @ 59.5% harvested
Cask #39
AO G1C3 years, 7 months
225L @ 57.3% filled
203L @ 57.1% harvested
Cask # 55
AO G1C3 years, 4 months
228L @ 59.0% filled
212L @ 58.2% harvested

Cask #24
AO Heavy Char3 years, 10 months
130L @ 59.0% filled
119L @ 57.5% harvested
Cask #40
AO G1C3 years, 5 months
230L @ 60.0% filled
212L @ 57.5% harvested
Cask #59
AO Heavy Char3 years, 4 months
226L @ 59.0% filled
210L @ 58.6% harvested

Cask #37
AO G1C3 years, 10 months
225L @ 59.0% filled
187L @ 60.7% harvested
Cask #41
AO G1C3 years, 5 months
231L @ 60.0% filled
213L @ 57.9% harvested
Cask # 295
Moscatel Roxo de Setúbal3 years, 1 month (total)
210L @ 58.2% filled
208L @ 56.5% harvested
Previously in AO Heavy Char for 2 years
225L @ 59.0% filled
210L @ 58.2% racked

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